A bubble, as what I am referring to is a subculture of people established by ones profession. While in these bubbles, we forget that we’re in them and think that the things exclusive to our own little bubbles hold true to others outside of it. We think that important people in our bubble are world renown celebrities, we think everyone is facing the issues we face, and we let the perspective of our bubble dictate how we view the world. Websites, Apps, Creatives, Entrepreneurs, Startups, Americans; these are all the bubbles that I’ve been a part of. The problems that we face inside these bubble do not reflect those outside of it. I am guilty of forgetting this. For example, in my bubble there is a common thread, “follow your passion.” This is a topic that even I frequently speak on. I strongly believe that everyone should do things they are passionate about. I speak on how everyone should work in what they love. However, while on a trip to Colombia with my wife, I am reminded that this is not always possible. It is a luxury to have an array of opportunities from which to choose from and having the privilege of discarding ones we aren’t “passionate” about. It’s important to venture outside of our bubbles so that we may experience and learn from the perspectives of others.
Take the time to meet people. Meet people outside of your job, people who have little connection to what you do. These turn out to be some of the most rewarding conversations. They are not held back by conventions and group thoughts, they speak their ideas freely. We can learn a lot from this. When we hangout with the same people, we are bound to hear the same things over and over. With time, those repetitive conversations with a few people begin to feel like the sentiment of everyone else. However, one conversation from someone outside that bubble, and you quickly realize how different things are.
Outside of work, I purposely choose to hangout with people who are in no way associated with the tech industry. In doing so, I learn so much about how people use the same technology that we make. Things that we take for granted are maybe something that others have a problem adjusting to. By learning this, I can go back and adjust the way I do things and share that with other designers/developers.
This ties into meeting people. You can’t meet different people if you don’t go searching in different places. Geography plays a huge role in a persons perspective of things.
Did you know more people in Colombia use Androids over iPhones because they don’t have the same phone carrier offers that we do? They don’t get iPhones for $200 on a 2 year contract. Better yet, a lot of people still don’t have smart phones!
Talking with Colombians I learned a lot about their user experience and how they interact, things that I never would have learned back in the states. We need to venture out to further our understanding.
Gaining perspectives and adapting
One month’s rent for me in New York City pays 2 full years of rent in Tulua, Colombia. I’m going to let that sink in…
Knowing this, maybe we re-think how much money we spend on rent, and think more about our savings. Maybe we decide that we will save up a year’s worth of money, and go live in Colombia for a while. Maybe there’s this app idea we have been dying to make, but since we stress about money we have to take on other projects in order to meet the bills. Moving to Colombia would alleviate the money issue, imagine what could be done. These were all some of my own thoughts when learning about the cost of living.
By learning what is out there, we are able to gain new appreciation for our own situations. We just need to venture outside of our bubbles.